In 2015, the Washington Post conducted the first ongoing tally of officer-involved shooting deaths of the mentally ill. Nationwide, at least 25% of people who are shot and killed by police officers suffer from acute mental illness at the time of their death. People with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be fatally shot during an encounter with police than people with their mental illnesses under control.” The inspiration for the app started from a desire to make a positive impact within the community using our skills. Starting with mental health, our vision quickly shifted to providing a way to ensure that people who need immediate help get the proper assistance that they need. This was the inception of Guardian.
What it does
Guardian is a mobile app built with react-native that allows users to request help from qualified professionals. Registered medical professionals can sign up and be verified in the app to provide assistance to anyone in their vicinity who sends out an emergency alert and civilians can report these situations and find doctors in the area who would be available to provide immediate medical assistance. In other non-violent situations, community leaders can sign up on the app and provide stability in their neighborhoods without the need of armed officers. Not all emergencies require an armed officer to be present.
How we built it
We designed and prototyped the app using Figma. We developed the current build by using React Native to build for both iOS and Android. The Backend was built using Firebase.
Challenges we ran into
The first challenge we ran into was we had incompatibility issues with packages across our systems. We worked with the package.json file to ensure that our repo had the most updated dependencies and we were all able to build the app locally without any issues. After that we ran into backend issues. We were adventurous in choosing the Ignite boilerplate to bootstrap our project without ever having used it before. Understand the way folders were organized and how to efficiently and systematically set up our backend code while navigating new concepts in Ignite was a challenge in itself. Our final challenge was integrating front-end with back-end efficiently. We realized that we made some changes on parts of code that would affect each other's work and had to work as a collective team to communicate our work and keep each other updated about what we're doing on our end and how.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
While there were more road bumps along the way, we are proud of many aspects of our work this weekend. First, it was everyone's first Hackathon, and all three of us were able to get valuable experience, make valuable connections in the industry, and make some new friends along the way. While it was a challenge, we all learned to use ignite boilerplate from scratch. We also learned how to plan and design well with Figma. We also learned a lot of backend authentication implementation using Firebase and most importantly, we all learned how to work together as a team, communicate well and create a good environment for each other to learn.
What we learned
We learned that it's much easier to start small and continue building on top of our ideas, ensuring stable builds along the way. Additionally, we learned the importance of asking for help from mentors and our teammates as we saw more progress when we did not take on challenges by ourselves.
What's next for Guardian
We are looking forward to publishing Guardian into the App Store and Play Store. We have already talked with various nurses who believe in this idea and will sign up for the app when its available. We want to better our communities by providing an alternative to calling 911.